Spurs pull away from NuggetsDec 16, 2007 - 5:39 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) - Michael Finley and Fabricio Oberto each scored a season-high 21 points, and the Spurs eventually pulled away for a 101-92 win over the Denver Nuggets Saturday night at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs outscored the Nuggets 36-18 in the third quarter to turn an otherwise competitive game into a blowout. Finley scored 14 of his points in the second quarter to help the Spurs grab control of the game.
"I just made a couple of open shots," Finley said. "My teammates created a lot of good opportunities for me, and I just made the most of it."
Oberto had a highly efficient night, shooting 10-of-11 from the field. He also had 13 rebounds, five assists, and no turnovers.
"We didn't expect him to come out shooting the way he did tonight," Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony said of Oberto. "He was taking advantage of what we were giving him. We were leaving him open, and he was knocking down the mid-range shot and getting some easy baskets around the rim."
Tim Duncan, who missed the last four games, played for the first time since spraining his ankle on December 2 and he liked what he saw from Oberto.
"Fab was unbelievable. He was great," Duncan said. "He's such a solid part of what we do, and he had a good game tonight, finding the open spots and making the right plays."
Though Duncan didn't have a statistically impressive night - he finished with eight points and five rebounds in 20 minutes his presence alone was reason enough to be happy.
"It was great to have him back," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Just having him on the court is a confidence builder for us."
The Spurs trailed by as many as nine in the second quarter, but finished the half with a 14-7 run that pushed them to a 56-50 lead at intermission. Oberto, Finley and Brent Barry combined to score 40 of the Spurs' 56 first-half points.
Denver was without Kenyon Martin, who was suspended for one game after he hit New Orleans' Melvin Ely in the head with his elbow Wednesday night.
Allen Iverson scored seven of his team-high 30 points in the first quarter, giving the Nuggets a 27-22 lead after one. Anthony finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Jacque Vaughn, who finished with 10 points and six assists, started in place of the injured Tony Parker, who missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle.
The Spurs were up by 26 with 10:56 left in the fourth, but Denver rallied late, cutting the score to 100-89 with 3:10 left in the game.
The win kept the Spurs, who outrebounded the Nuggets 43-29, undefeated at home this year.
"Nobody else has won here," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "(The Spurs) are a good team. They're a special team. They're a championship team."
SAN ANTONIO 102 FINAL
Dec 15 10:46 PM
SAN ANTONIO 92 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 15 10:17 PM
HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
DENVER 27 23 50
SAN ANTONIO 22 34 56 HALFTIME
HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
DEN - ALLEN IVERSON 14, CARMELO ANTHONY 11,
ANTHONY CARTER 8
SAS - FABRICIO OBERTO 15, MICHAEL FINLEY 14,
BRENT BARRY 11
Dec 15 9:39 PM
SAN ANTONIO 22 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 15 9:09 PM
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